Transport for London is facing financial difficulties, so New Year’s Eve celebrants will have to pay for their return trip on the Tube.
TfL stated that it will have to charge late-night trips for December 31 through January 1, due to the “catastrophic effect of the pandemic”.
Typically, since the year 2000, the London Underground has been free between 11.45pm and 4.30am on New Year’s, brought about by a sponsor who could cover the cost, but no sponsor could be found this year, the Evening Standard reports.
Tube service will continue to run throughout the night but all passengers must pay. This is the second consecutive year without free travel.
It was revealed earlier this week that the Bakerloo line could be under threat of permanent closure as Sadiq Khan looks to plug a £1.9billion funding gap.
Underground services may be cut 10% by London’s Mayor if the Government does not provide a fresh cash injection. Simon Kilonback from TfL, TfL finance chief, said that only one line might need to be shut down.
The London Eye is the focal point of Revellers during New Year celebrations in central London at midnight on January 1, 2020
TfL claimed it would be forced to collect late-night travel charges between December 31st and January 1 due to the ‘catastrophic effects of the pandemic’. Pictured are commuters who used the Tube in November this year.
Tube service on December 1.
TfL now says: “Due to the devastating impact of the pandemic upon TfL’s financials, TfL unfortunately won’t be able offer free travel on the New Year’s Eve.
“Services on London’s transport system will continue to run throughout the night so that everyone can take in all of London and return home safe.
TfL’s current Government bail-out deal is set to expire in nine days and the transport body is looking for £500m to keep services going until April, along with £1.2billion for 2022/23 and more than £1billion for upgrades and maintenance.
Khan said that a Tube line could have to be closed and that 100 bus routes might be cancelled if money isn’t secured.
Bakerloo, which has still operated trains since the 1970s, may be in danger.
Of the 11 lines on the London Underground, it ranks ninth in terms of how busy it is – although more than 110million journeys are still completed on it every year.
TfL cautions passengers that there may be disruptions to their travels during the holiday period, which could include trips from Heathrow Airport.
Christmas Day won’t see any London buses or trains run on London Overground and Underground. Services will also finish earlier than usual on Christmas Eve.